Farrell all set for milestone and joy for another Saracens star as England face Italy in the RBS 6 Nations
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Saracens’ Owen Farrell will reach a milestone for England after being selected to face Italy at Twickenham in the Six Nations – and there’s good news for another Saracens star.
Farrell will make his 50th appearance for his country, five years after making his debut against Scotland at Murrayfield.
England’s head coach Eddie Jones said: “I know the Twickenham crowd will give Owen Farrell a big cheer. To reach 50 caps at such a young age is a fine achievement. The one thing I know about Owen is that his next 50 are going to be more impressive than his first.”
The 25-year-old is joined in the matchday squad by team-mates Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola.
The latter’s inclusion comes after he recovered from a knee injury.
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Jones has made four changes to the side that started in the victory over Wales two weeks ago.
In come Ben Te’o, for his first start, Danny Care, Jonny May and James Haskell.
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Jones said: “We have had a good two-week preparation for Italy and we’re ready to go.
“We trained very well in the city last week and this week the training has been very impressive. The boys are really on song, we have had great competition for places, and we’ve picked a very strong 23 to play against Italy.
“Selection was tough. Ben Te’o at 13 gives us another way of playing the game and we are excited about seeing him, George Ford and Owen Farrell play together in the midfield.
“Ben Youngs has been outstanding for us at number nine, but Danny Care gets the starting jersey this week. For the first half he’ll give us a lot of speed and running at the base of the ruck as well as the scrum. Ben will then come on and finish the game.
“Tom Wood has been great for us at seven, and Jack Clifford did well against Wales but James Haskell has the starting role on Sunday; he has come back to a much better level of fitness and we are sure his explosive actions will help us in the first part of the game.
“It is an important Test match for us and our only consideration is to play well. Italy have a proud record in Test rugby, they beat South Africa in November, and we will not underestimate them.”
England match-day 23 for the RBS 6 Nations game against Italy:
15. Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 57 caps)
14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 24 caps)
13. Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 5 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 49 caps)
11. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 10 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 32 caps)
9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 68 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 48 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 81 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)
4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 39 caps)
5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 55 caps)
6. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 9 caps)
7. James Haskell (Wasps, 72 caps)
8. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 5 caps)
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 14 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 39 caps)
18. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 5 caps)
19. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 47 caps)
20. Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 9 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 67 caps)
22. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps)
23. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 20 caps)